NO ONE KNOWS MY NAME by Joyce Harrington


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Edgar-winner Harrington is responsible for some of the best stories in recent mystery-mag anthologies, but this first novel is uneven and derivative: murder at a summer-stock theater, with stereotypes galore and periodic announcements from the anonymous voice of the psychopathic killer on the premises (a bitter theater veteran who kills young actresses to spare them showbiz misery). The current victim: dumb, sexy, young porn-star Glory, who's been sent by her agent to Duck Creek for some real acting experience. Among the suspects: leading man Tony (Glory knew of his secret porno past), who finds the body and tries to hide it; Tony's girl Anita, who wanted to play Glory's roles; alcoholic ex-star Hilda; director Larry; ancient character actor Pev; and gross, obese showbiz veteran Tina. There's a second killing, some hide-and-seek with Glory's body, some cross-suspicion à la And Then There Were None, some advice from a waiter who's really a tall-dark-and-handsome Native American psychiatrist--and finally old Pev commits suicide, leaving a confession note. But any mildly astute mystery-reader will see the real solution coming a mile away; and, despite intermittent amusement in the show-folk banter, Harrington's strengths as a story-writer (a feel for the grotesque, creepily matter-of-fact narration) don't adapt well to the demands of full-length suspense or full-sized characterization. Overall: a reasonably readable disappointment.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's